Project Management

Does Your Company Need a CPO? A Case for the Central Project Office and a Chief Project Officer

Harvey A. Levine

Project management is one of the fastest growing, most widely recognized trends of the last decade. The over 50% annual growth in membership in the Project Management Institute is just one sign of this popular movement. Similar growth can be seen in the number of project management certification candidates, formal project management educational programs, project management Web sites and project management articles. 

As a 40 year consultant/practitioner of project management, I can appreciate the growth in opportunities for project management trainers and consultants. But my appreciation has been accompanied by an increasing frustration about the way project management is being implemented in those organizations that have recently come to embrace this discipline.

Below are a few simple questions. Answer them truthfully--and then think about the answers. 

  • Is your company running without a CEO?    
  • To whom do your engineers report?    
  • Do you have an accounting or finance function? To whom do they report?

Even in this day of flat organizations and multi-discipline teams, almost all of you will reply that your organization does have a CEO, that engineers report to an Engineering Manager, and that there is a Chief Financial Officer (or similar title) heading up the finance function and watching out for the …


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A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.

- Fred Allen